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Retail Order Management: The Key to Unlocking Omnichannel

Updated: Oct 22


omnichannel e-commerce solution

Introduction

A physical shop was the only place where businesses could meet their clients until roughly a decade ago. However, as eCommerce and mCommerce have grown in popularity, the retailer's proximity and availability have become less critical. However, this significant shift has not been matched by a similar shift in the retail distribution industry, which continues to conceive in terms of fixed "origin" and "destination" within its silos. The idea of channel-based customer service and delivery must be abandoned by retail. Customers demand a cohesive Omnichannel experience, so why should the retail delivery organisation fall short of that goal? Furthermore, by using the potential of an Omnichannel e-commerce solution, retail may cut delivery costs while improving customer happiness. Retailers realised profits with little back-office complexity by establishing compelling web shopping experiences and devoting a percentage of their inventory to e-commerce.

Providing for the demands of today's customers

Consumer expectations and purchasing habits grew in tandem with technological advancements and greater competition. Consumers in the age of "Me-commerce":

  • Brick-and-mortar and internet businesses are no longer considered separate shopping locations.

  • Demand consistent experiences at all points of contact.

  • If a shop does not have the item you want, look elsewhere.

  • Expect to return or exchange anything purchased online to physical stores.

  • Expect ease and flexibility in terms of where and how you shop.

  • Personalised, localised, and engaging experiences are in high demand.

  • Use digital data while in-store shopping ($1 trillion in retail sales impacted by digital and mobile)

  • Expect prompt, free delivery that is always accurate.

These data lead to two main conclusions: retail is evolving at a breakneck pace, and omnichannel customers are deserving of a retailer's attention. Retailers can no longer afford to operate in channel silos due to consumer demands and other influences such as shorter product lifecycles, ubiquitous free shipping, and strong rivalry around delivery timeframes. Retailers must anticipate and remain ahead of market disruptions and be agile and adaptable to respond quickly to changing customer demands. To stay relevant, retailers will face considerable difficulties, problems, and disappointments if they try to use outdated systems and procedures to satisfy these new customer needs.

Order Management

To eliminate channel silos and adapt to the omnichannel experience, more organisations are switching to an omnichannel e-commerce solution, which comprises three main functions:

  • Being accessible across all channels with the right quantity of inventory and at the right time to connect omnichannel demand with omnichannel supply.

  • Using distribution management to determine the shortest and most direct path to the supply source while preserving optimum order profitability based on the customer's location.

  • Helps with order fulfilment and delivery by providing purpose-oriented tools to all parties involved (warehouses, retail shops, drop shippers, fulfilment centres, or third-party fulfilment channels).

Order Routing

Aids in the routing of orders to the most appropriate fulfilment provider depending on retailer criteria such as:

  • Per-order profitability

  • The consumer's location's proximity

  • Dynamics of a Store

  • Levels of Inventory

Integrating eCommerce and Store Fulfillment

Retail networks may be used as a tactical e-commerce asset combined with an effective order management system and store fulfilment. For example, a customer's ability to ship from a shop creates virtual distribution hubs across a brand's network of locations. It assists retailers in fulfilling e-commerce orders, reducing out-of-stock situations, as well as the time and costs associated with shipping such products. To get the most out of being an omnichannel chain shop, the retailer should have a customisable order routing system that distributes orders to the most relevant store depending on factors like:

  • Profitability

  • Closeness to the shipment location

  • Safety stock, MIA levels, weeks of supply, and other factors are taken into account while determining inventory levels in retailers.

  • Split orders are minimised, and all orders are shipped from a single location.

  • Expedited shipping or customised handling, such as gift wrapping, is available.

  • A limit on the number of units or orders processed per day per location avoids overburdening businesses that simultaneously conduct physical sales.

  • Redirecting rejected orders to the next most appropriate retailer automatically.

  • The ability to activate and disable retailers based on their geographical location, performance, and events like the rush season, discounts, and others.

  • Type of retail establishment.

Conclusion

These characteristics will be the most crucial to keep in mind as you move from channel silo to omnichannel. They are the most critical aspects of establishing a streamlined and efficient system that a store can rely on and expand their business with. Because of the growing number of alternatives accessible to them as technology advances, client behaviour becomes more demanding. A brand's ability to be accessible and approachable is enhanced by being present across all channels, especially during a period in which retail shopping experiences fail to recover due to lockdowns and social distance. If a company wants to stay relevant, an omnichannel e-commerce solution is not simply a phase but also the present and future.


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